European Computer Trade Show

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European Computer Trade Show
InauguratedApril 16, 1988; 35 years ago (1988-04-16)
Most recentSeptember 1, 2004 (2004-09-01)

The European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) was an annual trade show for the European video game industry which first ran in 1988, the last event being held in 2004.

The exposition was only open to industry professionals and journalists,[1] although it was frequently attended by members of the public who had faked credentials. Due to the wide-scale nature of this problem, many exhibitors planned stalls which appealed to both trade and public, except when alternative public shows were planned such as the Future Entertainment Show and Game Stars Live.[2]

ECTS was always held at a London venue, usually between the end of August and the beginning of September. Its original home was the Business Design Centre in Islington. In 1995 it was relocated to the Grand Hall at Olympia in Kensington. The 2001 event took place at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in Newham and the last three, to 2004, were at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.[3]

From 2001 until 2004, the Game Developers Conference Europe was held alongside ECTS. Unlike the primarily press-oriented ECTS, GDCE focused on talks and discussions about the development of games, and was aimed at the developers themselves. In 2004, however, GDCE moved locations and ran alongside the Game Stars Live event. In April 2005, organiser CMP announced that they were withdrawing from the British trade show market, marking the end of 17 years of shows.[4]


Year Dates Venue
1989 16–18 April Business Design Centre
1990 1–3 April Business Design Centre
1991 14–16 April Business Design Centre
1992 12–14 April Business Design Centre
6–8 September Business Design Centre
1993 4–6 April Business Design Centre
5–7 September Business Design Centre
1994 10–12 April Business Design Centre
4–6 September Business Design Centre
1995 26–28 March Olympia[5]
10–12 September Olympia[6]
1996 14–16 April Olympia
8–10 September Olympia[1]
1997 7–9 September Olympia
1998 6–8 September Olympia
1999 5–7 September Olympia
2000 3–5 September Olympia
2001 2–4 September ExCeL
2002 29–31 August Earls Court Exhibition Centre
2003 27–29 August Earls Court Exhibition Centre
2004 1–3 September Earls Court Exhibition Centre


  1. ^ a b Rider, David; Semrad, Ed (November 1996). "ECTS: The European Game Show Sets London on Fire!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. pp. 160–161.
  2. ^ London Metropolitan Archives. "Fixture Lists" (PDF).
  3. ^ London Metropolitan Archives. "EARLS COURT AND OLYMPIA".
  4. ^ "Special Events: 1999 - European-Computer-Trade-Show".
  5. ^ "PlayStation Dominates European Show". Next Generation. Imagine Media (6): 14. June 1995. The venue was at Olympia - instead of the regular site, the Business Design Center in London - and was attended by 8,500 people during the three-day event.
  6. ^ "ECTS: Sony and Sega Battle in Europe". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 17. November 1995. The European game industry's bi-annual trade bash took place in mid-September at Olympia in London ...

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